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our Grand, Loyal Family 
of Breakfast Clubbers ... 



There are millions of happy families in these United 
States. The McNeills are one of these. 

Rut all American families don’t have books written 
about them. Of course, the bread winners in most 
families work at least eight hours a day, garden or golf 
for relaxation, and enjoy the companionship of friends 
and neighbors after hours. 

That is where the McNeills differ. You must know by 
this time that my only means of support is to stand 
from 8 a. m. to 9 a. m., six mornings a week, in front of 
a Blue Network microphone in the Chicago Merchan¬ 
dise Mart studio. I don’t do too much gardening and 
I seldom play golf. Our friends and neighbors avoid us 
after ten o’clock in the evening. 

"Well, this is a queer family,” you say. ”He must be 
a strange creature to live with. How do poor Mrs. 
McNeill and the children stand it?” 

And, your remarks are echoed by millions of other 
Breakfast Club fans. 

It would bardly do for me to expose the routine which 
has been the source of so much happiness to us in the 
last eleven years. You’d be inclined to think it was 
another Breakfast Club gag. 

I have the notion, though, that you will listen to 
Mrs. McNeil—Kay. I’ve been doing it for years. 

Don’s favorite family group re¬ 
veals Tommy on my right, Donny 
on my left, with Bobhy on my lap. 
It flatters all of us except Bobby. 

(/ of an M. C. s wile. It starts 
with a typical day in the McNeill household. Getting Don off to 
the studio, or more important, getting him up at 5:40 a. m., six 
mornings a week, requires the combined efforts of the four of us. 

Then from eight to nine we relax. Sometimes Don relaxes, 
too, but most of the time he really sweats to please his Breakfast 
Club audience. Sometimes he pleases us. 

What does Don do with all his time? What kind of a man is 
he to live with? 

These two questions are asked most frequently by Breakfast 
Club fans. Before the mail reached the 9,000 letters a month 
classification, we used to try to answer most of the questions. Now 
it is impossible, but we believe this book will serve as an answer to 
your questions about the private life of a radio wife. 

Let’s look at the man first. That is a favorite female 
beginning. You Breakfast Clubbers really make him tick. We 
just wind him up six mornings a week and hope that he has a 
main spring left when he checks in late in the afternoon. 

What happens to him while he is away from the fireside 
would fill a book. And that’s exactly what I’m going to do . . . fill 
this book with his long and shortcomings and embellish it with the 
most popular contributions we’ve received since The Breakfast 
Club Family Album was published. 


You can stop right now 
envying the gay, sparkling personality who greets 
you each morning with that cheery "Good Morn¬ 
ing, Breakfast Clubbers, good morning to yah.” 

He didn’t inherit it, he acquired it after 
many long years of practice. The photographs on 
this page are pretty true to life. He is the original 
"Don Yawn” when the boys, our dog—"Fellow,” 
—and I descend on him at 5:40 each morning. 


. . . “We got up bright and early to how-dy 
do yah.” 

Don had the boys in mind when he put this 
thought into the second line of his "First Call 
to Breakfast.” 

The boys are always the first ones up in the 
morning. It is not uncommon to hear Tommy and 
Donny arguing at 5:30 a. m., whether to take a 
bath or a shower. 

Bobby, age 33^2, is custodian of Don’s shaving 
and dressing mood. He keeps talking to him while 
he shaves and always appears at the Breakfast 
table well-lathered and liberally sprinkled with 
shaving lotion. 

All of us try to contribute something to Don’s 
early morning mood. While he’s eating breakfast, 
I tell him of some silly dream I had. My favorite 
is the night I was frightened by a queer noise. 
Quickly turning on the light, I discovered a pair of 
man’s legs sticking out from beneatli the bed. 
But, it wasn’t a burglar, it was Don... he’d heard 
the noise first. 

We usually breakfast together, but the 
morning this photograph was taken Don was 
on a bond tour. Clockwise we are Donny, 
Bobby, Kay and Tommy enjoying that well- 
known breakfast cereal. 

Donny has a new story almost every morning. 
He particularly likes the one about the little 
moron who stood on the street corner with a knife 
in one hand and a gun in the other . . . undecided 
whether to cut across the street or shoot up the 

Tommy’s conversation is usually a matter of 
dollars, more than sense. He always needs money 
for something important like a baseball mitt. 
Every morning Bobby inquires, "Is that a new 
tie you’re wearing. Daddy?” One morning Bobby 
was making a whirring noise and Don said "Bob— 
you’re a big airplane.” Bob thought it over and 
said "Dad, you’re a big silly man.” 

By the time Don is ready to sprint for the train, 
he’s a complete wreck but laughing at the top of 
his voice. 

And that’s the way one ham’s family primes 
your Breakfast Club "messer of ceremonies”. 

• • • 

“Is it March Time 
Yet, Mother?” 

Tommy, age 10, at the window: "Well, at least 
he brings home the bacon.” 

Donny, age 8, "I think what Daddy does is 
better than working.” 

Bobby, age 33^, "My male parent has a tre¬ 
mendous following and I will purposely model my 
adolescent life after his matutinal activities. I say 
this in all sincerity and with full realization of its 


Ha! Ha! Ha! 


we g e ttle down to a routine that 
varies only with the season. The boys land out-of- 
doors no later than 7:15. Fortunately, our closest 
neighbor has two boys whose Daddy has to catch 
an early suburban train to the city. Ethel, who 
is mother’s helper, and I pick up the breakfast 
dishes and slick up the kitchen. Then we are ready 
to listen. 

His most critical audience responds to the 
oft-asked question: "What do you say about your 
daddy’s show?” with: 


The informality of the show 
extends even to the seating ar¬ 
rangement. This photograph 
happens to show Don interview¬ 
ing Roy Rogers of Hollywood— 
Horse opera fame. Men, women 
and bahes-in-arms surround the 
gang as they work on a raised 
platform. Small fry and the or¬ 
chestra complete the encircle¬ 

. . ^ l/ie 

We did a good job this morn¬ 
ing, for note the aplomb with 
which he greets his audience as 
they line the corridor outside 
Studio A waiting for the doors to 
open at 7:45 a. m. 

During the summer months 
the studio, which seats approx¬ 
imately 600, is never large enough 
to accommodate the audience. 
Even in winter, they struggle 
through Chicago’s icy blasts to 
attend the show. 

Isn’t he a scream? Someone 
has dipped deep enough into the 
gag barrel to give you this hand¬ 
some display of Breakfast Club 
molars. In case you haven’t been 
introduced, these B. C. principals 
are: (left to right) Helen Parker, 
a guest; Marion Mann, Charles 
Irving (who dishes out those swell 
commercials) Jack Owens, Don 
and Sam Cowling. 

' Nir 



W o 1 

33 mt . A ■ 

Yes, they really march around the breakfast 
table during March Time. We hope you join 
them. Right now Donny is marching around the 
living room shouting at the top of his lungs while 
I am trying to write this. Excuse me a minute. 

"Donny, why are you shouting in that horrible 
fashion? W hy can't you be quiet like Tom?" 

" He's got to be quiet. Mom, the way we are 
playing. He's Daddy coming home late and I 
am you." 

It’s marvelous when you think of the forward, 
progressive strides this country has made in the 
last 25 years. The automobile, the airplane, the 
radio, television and now the most progressive step 
and certainly the most forward—the Cruising 

Girls, you must hear as well as see Jack Owens 
to appreciate him, but this action picture gives 
you ideas. 


Anything can happen and 
usually does. Pity this poor child 
who has been asked to name her 
favorite breakfast food. Fortu¬ 
nately, she came up with the 
right answer. Sam and Don 
knocked each other out reporting 
the incident to the sponsor. 

“What’s Kogen, Harry?” 
And Harry Kogen, talented 
maestro, replies to Don’s pun 
with a magic baton that swings 
the famous Breakfast club orches¬ 
tra into a choice Kogen or¬ 

Whenever I see a picture of Nancy Martin I 
am always reminded of tlie discussion she and Don 
had one morning about time-savers. Don had just 
recited how he saved precious minutes in the 
morning by putting a zipper on his washrag so he 
could zip it apart and wash both ears at the same 
time and how he always rubbed his eyes and 
stretched the night before so he wouldn’t have to 
bother with that upon awakening, when Nancy 
broke in with: 

"I have the greatest time-saver of all.” 

"What’s that?” innocently questioned Don. 

"Love at first sight.” 

The bearded one listening to Nancy’s song 
was attending the Lion’s Convention. Looks 
more like a wolf, doesn't he? 

A Romeo on the loose! In this 
instance, Sam Cowling, a long-time 
member of the Three Romeos and a 
newly-discovered heckler for Don, 
is searching the studio audience for 
an honest face. 

Looks to me like Sam’s youthful 
Diogenes better have a written ex¬ 
cuse for missing that first morning 

Sam came up with a choice 
"Fiction and Fact” that morning— 
Remember: "In spite of the short¬ 
age of tropical foods . . . just by 
glaring at our orchestra leader . . . 
you can get Kogen-nuts.” 

• • • 


Marion Mann, the lovely vocalist who alter¬ 
nates with Nancy Martin on your Breakfast Club, 
is always in demand by the studio audience. Jack 
Macy, the tennis pro, holds Marion’s most valued 
autograph—her signature to a marriage contract. 

Frequently, autograph seekers will hand a blank 
check to a member of the cast. The peculiar part 
of this is that each person who does it, thinks he or 
she is the first one who thought of it. Either the 
casts’ signatures are not too highly thought of by 
banks, or the bank clerks keep them as souvenirs, 
because, they’re never heard from afterwards. 

How can Don think of such 
quick answers to interviews? We 
are asked this question frequently. 

I tell Don it’s a gift, and he said, 
"If it is, I should give it back.” 

Don really expects his audience to 
help him create a new program each 
day. There is no monotony on the 
show for the program is life itself 
and no life is monotonous. Each day 
brings a different group of people 
into the studio and something un¬ 
usual is bound to happen. 

Remember the day the lady said 
she had tried to visit the show once 
before but was detoured on the way 
in order to have her baby? 


*y7t e *y/it die nee 


With the show over, Don 
and the rest of the cast spend a 
lot of time shaking hands with 
people, talking to them and auto¬ 
graphing. About 9:30 he is ready 
for another breakfast. Usually 
some servicemen or women are 
his guests. Then he goes to his 
office in the Merchandise Mart. 

A common query is: "What 
does Don think of people? 

I think the Breakfast Club pro¬ 
gram proves that Don likes 
people. He responds nimbly to 
the moods of all about him and 
he is called "friend" by thousands 
in all walks of life. 

Breakfast Clubbers show lit¬ 
tle partiality when it comes to 
collecting autographs. All the 
principals go through the same 
routine once the show is off the 
air. Naturally, they love it, for it 
is one of the few measuring sticks 
they have to test whether or not 
they are pleasing you with their 

Our old friend, Jack Owens, 
is back. Mrs. Ora Chidester of 
San Diego, Calif., summed up our 
sentiments when she wrote: "I 
have missed you from the West 
Coast program, so I am delighted 
to know you will continue to call 
from Chicago. You, of course, 
cannot take Jack Baker’s place, 
but you have a place of your own 
to fill equally well. There is only 
one Jack Baker and the mold was 
broken after he was cast. It is so 
much easier to have a friend sit 
in his chair and in time we will 
love you as we now love Jack 
Baker. Each of us must move on 
to make a place for another as 
worthy or more so. Jack’s going 
has made your coming possible." 

THEY BEHAVE . . . SBi&e c f}mi/!le»nen in ZPuS/tc 

Proof that our husbands are always welcome around the Breakfast Table is ap¬ 
parent when they mingle with the public. Here they are entertaining the wives of 
delegates attending the Lions’ International convention in Chicago. 

But, would you please look at our friends when they are alone. Corn and 
pep, of course, are so important to their daily show I suppose we shouldn’t complain. 
It’s certainly strange, though, how easy it is for them to act NATURAL—like 
Crumbs Around the Breakfast Table. 


My day is typical of any housewife who has 
three growing boys, a suburban home, a dog and a 
pet husband. 

There are times, of course, when Don and 1 
entertain guests and visitors in the city or invite 
them out to Winnetka, but on the whole we live a 
normal, suburban life. Early to bed, and early to 
rise, with not many a surprise. 

As the Breakfast Club draws to a close during 
the school year, there is always a rush to get 
Tommy and Donny off on time. Then there are 
errands to run in the village, purchases to make 
for lunch and dinner, and telephone calls galore. 

By lunch time the housework is pretty well 
completed, so that I can spend some time with the 
boys. Bobby, naturally, gets most of my attention 
in the afternoon, for the older boys are busy bike 
riding, playing games, or "shooting Japs.” 

Don arrives home about four o’clock unless lie 
has an evening appointment. He usually rests for 
a while or clutters up the boys’ play by trying 
some new Breakfast (Huh gag on them. 

You’ll be greatly disappointed, I am afraid, 
when 1 tell you how we spend our evenings. 
After dinner, Ethel and I wash the dishes. By the 
time the boys have had their baths and are in bed 
it is after eight-thirty. 

I usually find Don in the library, his face buried 
in a newspaper or a mystery story. So, 1 go into 
the closet, get a hag of socks, overalls and shorts 
that need mending. About nine-fifteen or nine- 
thirty, Don will say he is going to bed. I either 
keep on with my mending for another hour or so, 
or do likewise. 

Once in a while we do go out aud take in a movie 
. . . the last one we saw was called "Birth of a 
Nation” and they tell me the talkies are very good, 
so I told Don we must see one some of these days. 

We very seldom spend the evening with celeb¬ 
rities and you could count on the fingers of one 
hand the times we have visited a night club. I 
think maybe we’re just a too-typical American 

OFF THE Fit . . 

Being spontaneously funny is exhausting 
work. Add the high jinks and gymnastics which 
are so characteristic of a Breakfast Club program 
and you can just see the picture of Sam and Jack 
helping Don into his office come to life. 

Once behind his desk there are a thousand 
and one details to be attended to. The morning 
mail gets first consideration. In this department, 
Mary Canny, Don’s pretty secretary, efficiently 
directs the flow of humorous, whimsical, pathetic 
and even crazy requests and demands that pour 
across his desk. 

Meanwhile, Jim Bennett—Don’s personal 
representative—gives the telephone a workout as 
he arranges for guest interviews, personal appear¬ 
ances, tours, tickets, contracts, and the myriad 
details involved in operating the show off the air, 
behind the scenes. 

Don is quick to acknowledge the talents of 
his gang. They are a veteran and versatile cast of 
ad-libbers who know how to keep the ball in the 
air. At least once a day Sam Cowling and Jack 
Owens, or both, breeze in with an idea. Sam’s idea 
seems to be getting rough treatment in the "gag 
conference” illustrated here, but corn always has 
first choice on the program. 

It’s just like Don says: "There is no such thing 
as an old story; if you haven’t heard it, it’s new.” 

Jack broke up this conference with the appropri¬ 
ate remark: "These gags, Don, are certainly 
terrific weapons to kill time with.” 

No rehearsal today, except of musical numbers, 
is the usual Breakfast Club motto. The orchestra 
and the singers usually rehearse for forty-five to 
sixty minutes after the gang has had its breakfast. 
Most hour-long radio programs require from ten 
to thirty hours of rehearsal, but Don and his gang 
appear for an actual broadcast just a quarter to a 
half hour before air time. To the right, Eddie 
Ballantine, Jack, and the orchestra are going 
over a tune. 

The only prepared material which Don brings 
into the studio is the selected prose and poetry he 
intends to read during "Memory Time” and "In¬ 
spiration Time”. Commercials and Government 
messages, of course, are prepared in advance. 

Outside of that Don keeps a notebook with gags, 
letters from listeners, etc. in front of him and re¬ 
fers to it from time to time during the broadcast. 
The rest of the show is in the "lap of the gods.” 

Miss Lopez speaking! is the greeting most 
Breakfast Clubbers receive when they telephone 
to inquire about tickets for the show. And here is 
the pretty little lady—smiling voice and all— 
observed through the glass windowed reception 
room of the Blue Network’s program division on 
the 18th floor of the Merchandise Mart. 

One of her principal duties is to dispense all the 
admission tickets to the Breakfast Club, most of 
which are requested weeks in advance. 




Script Teasers... 

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DOII. Contributions form a large share of tlie grist that runs through the 
Breakfast Club mill, but it still is a tough grind. No one knows how I 
have slaved and toiled from early morn 'till late at night. And no one 
knows how many years the Breakfast Club has taken out of my night life. 
Just think, eleven years! 4,015 nights! 

Kav . If nothing more, this book should prove who really writes the 
Breakfast Club programs. I’m not referring to inspirational 
values alone, for they are very apparent. I’m talking about the 
hon mot and the belles lettres whieh abound within those covers, 
—don’t you think? 

Jim Dennett: y ou can talk all you want about the wonderful inter¬ 
views and clever situations which evolve during a Breakfast Club broad¬ 
cast. But, remember it takes people to make these appearances and situa¬ 
tions. I'm the guy who digs them up, drags them in and draws them out. 
Mr. McNeill calls me his personal representative, but of course he is being 
modest for I represent people—other than whom there are none funnier. 

Mary Canny: Due to circumstances beyond my control, I am 

unable to release a carefully prepared statement for this edition. 
The reasons are quite obvious. I love my work, the hours and pay 
are good, and Mr. McNeill is a fine man to work for. But, I can’t 
help wondering,—what would happen to the Breakfast Club if I 
didn’t keep the notebook up to date? 

LOU Green, Producer: It’s time to 

break my silence. Don insists that I 
occupy a seat in the control booth at 
each and every broadcast and that I 
use a carefully arranged system of 
hand signals to prompt him over the 
rough spots. Watch for these signals 
the next time you attend a Breakfast 
Club broadcast. I’m to Don McNeill 
what the ventriloquist is to the 

L °u green 


Kermit Slobb, Engineer: Can you imagine 
anything worse than a dead mike? Oh, sure! 
Some of McNeill’s gags ooze out over the ether 
now and then, hut, if it wasn’t for our control 
board, which filters the good from the bad, you 
wouldn’t be able to stand the B. C. as a daily diet. 

Herman, Elevator Starter: You can paste this 

in your album. Every good joke McNeill ever had 
on the Breakfast Club he got from me. That’s why 
he spends so much time riding up and down these 
Mart Elevators—hoping to catch me in a weak 

archie sweet 

Archie Sweet, Janitor: That’s gratitude for 

you. I have a chance to do some authorizing and 
they gag me before I start. And here I’ve been 
letting Mr. McNeill use my broom to sweep up 
the studio ever since I told him I found a dollar 
bill on the floor after one of the broadcasts! Pro¬ 
fessional jealousy, that’s what I calls it. 

Sponsors . All together, boys, let’s give it to 

him. Don McNeill, we absolutely refuse to admit 
that it takes super salesmanship to peddle our 
products . . . but, we think it helps. More super 
to you. 


W. ^e/iend 0ti 


HARRY KOGEN, maestro of the Breakfast 
Club orchestra, grew up with radio. And each 
broadcast adds stature to his height, for his ver¬ 
satile musical experience and his intimate knowl¬ 
edge of all types of music—from swing to grand 
opera—particularly fits him for the niche he fills 
so well on the Breakfast Club. 

Harry joined the Blue network in 1928 after 
conducting a band in a Chicago theater. Thus, 
16 years ago, he became one of the pioneer con¬ 
ductors of radio. 

He traces his precision handling of the baton 
ami his military bearing to the service be gave 
his country in the last war. Harry likes to play 
chess by mail and lias published several collec¬ 
tions of new and old tunes, especially arranged 
for string quartet. 


The hard-working, talented 
boys of the orchestra are the first 
to arrive in the studio in the morn¬ 
ing and the last to leave. They 
rehearse with the B. C. vocalists for 
about an hour each day, usually 
from 10 a.m. to 11. 

Our cameraman caught them here 
in the studio reviewing the score for 
the day under the watchful eyes of 
Rex Maupin, who often leads the 
orchestra, and Jack Owens while the 
audience files in to enjoy another 
musical treat, garnished with nuts. 


JACK OWENS, since April 24, 1944, has been 
hack home on the Breakfast Club. Nearly all 
listeners know that he replaced Jack Baker as the 
singing star of the show on that day. Not so 
many, however, remember that Owens’ fine bari¬ 
tone voice was heard regularly on the Breakfast 
Club from 1934 through 1936. 

He brings to the program the smart Holly- 
woodian trick of crooning tender phrases directly 
to women guests while he cruises through the 
audience, lienee, the sobriquet of ’’The Cruising 

From 1936 to his return to Chicago, Owens 
supplied the unseen singing voice of Jimmy 
Stewart, James Ellison, and other Hollywood 
stars. In his spare time he has turned out such 
smash hits as ’’Hi, Neighbor,” ’’Louisiana Lulla¬ 
by,” and ’’The Hut Sut Song.” 

Jack and his charming wife with their three 
children—Mary Ann 9, Johnny 6, and Noel 3, 
for a time occupied Jack Baker’s home on Chi¬ 
cago’s near north side, until the question of rent 
came up. 


JACK BAKER, who is now station¬ 
ed in Springfield, Missouri, served you 
Breakfast Clubbers with a finely balanced 
menu of favorite ballads and exchanged 
rapid-fire ad libs with Don for eight years. 
His infant son John Willard arrived on 
June 24, so the ’’Louisiana Lark” really 
has something to warble about now. 

On his first visit to Chicago since leav¬ 
ing the show Jack observed Jack, sur- 
named Owens, crooning sweet nothings to 
pretty young girls in the audience and 
was heard to comment: ’’What a racket! 
Why didn’t I think of that?” 

Don’t worry, Baker-boy, you thought 
of plenty and I am sure we’ll never forget 
your infectious spontaneity, cigars, chew¬ 
ing gum, and masterful jitterbugging. 
Good Luck and God Speed! 


NANCY MARTIN preferred radio to her 
schoolmarm job in the West Virginia hills, so what 
was education’s loss became radio's gain. Since 
1939 when she left Pittsburgh radio for Chicago, 
this pert little songbird has charmed Breakfast 

The glamour that is found in Nancy’s voice is 
not of the textbook variety, but there is a lot of 
"‘laming” in the little lady. She is a very accom¬ 
plished pianist and her favorite pastime is to 
dash off a lilting little song in collaboration with 
one of the B. C. gang. Just recently she and Eddie 
Ballantine co-authored a WAC ballad in honor 
of the khaki-clad members of her sex. 

Don kids her a lot about liking men—especially 
those in uniform, and maybe he’s right, because 
one day recently on the Breakfast Club, Don said, 
"This morning Nancy says she’d like to kiss every 
man, woman, and child as they leave the studio.” 

Nancy promptly replied: "Oh Don I did not— 
say anything about women and children.” 


MARION MANN can put an inflection in her 
singing voice that makes all the Breakfast Club’s 
shut-in listeners sit up and take notice. And no 
wonder they find Marion’s voice appealing, for 
when she dedicates a number to the shut-ins she 
is singing from experience. 

She was graduated from high school in Colum¬ 
bus, Ohio and filled local radio engagements 
before getting her big chance to sing at the Shrine 
Temple at Harrisburg, Pa. En route, an auto¬ 
mobile accident occurred and Marion bad to wait 
in a hospital a full year for another chance. 

Opportunities came fast, for in rapid sequence 
she sang with Emerson Gill’s band in Cleveland, 
appeared with Richard Himber and his band in 
a movie, and was settling down for a singing 
career with Bob Crosby when Dan Cupid walked 
in. She gave up the band business to marry Jack 
Macy, but because radio has the lucky quality of 
allowing one to live a home life and enjoy a career, 
Marion Mann is now a radio singer, endeared to 
all Breakfast Club fans. 


He spells it Cowling but to all Breakfast 
Clubbers Sam personifies Clowning. 

Here are some Gems of "Fiction & Fact from 
Sam’s Almanac.” 

Fifty percent of the married people in Denver, 
Colorado are women. 

Take a forest fire for instance ... now, there’s a 
hot one. 

In Arkansas . . . most of the soil consists of dirt. 

The distance from the head of a silver fox to his 
tail ... is a fur piece. 

Aunt Fanny was welcomed back to the pro¬ 
gram on May 22, 1944. She is impersonated by 
the same Fran Allison who delighted B. C. fans 
’way back in 1937 and 1938. 

Mrs. Smith, a Chicago housewife, is not a 
member of the cast but when Don heard her mile- 
a-minute chatter one day he invited her to come 
back often. Can’t you just hear her go from this 



7 '' 



Eddie Ballantine directs Gill 
Jones, Boyce Smith and Sam 
Cowling in an inspirational 



(right to left) A1 Stracke, Cal 
Scheibe, Jack Halloran and 
Homer Snodgrass wait for 
Bob Childe at the piano to 
sound the starting note for 
this popular quintet. 


r j r/te '!at/fi(vHffo: 

Ray "Pappy” Grant greets 
you with his guitar, while 
John Jordan, Robert O’Neil 
and Norvall Toborn (left to 
right) smile "hello.” 


With all the ingredients for a good Breakfast on 
hand, the show now depends upon the chef or 
"pepper-upper.” This is where Don really shines. 
Like a good cook he is everywhere at once when 
the program begins to boil. He adds a touch here 
and a pinch there, tasting and sampling as he 
mixes with the audience. 

He gets burned once in a while, too, like the 
morning he asked the lady if she’d - heard the 
Breakfast Club’s last broadcast and* gut this 
answer: "I hope so!” 

Which brings us to the last and most important 
part of the Breakfast Club . . . You: 

How can lie miss when an inspirational 
crowd like this greets him every morning 
at the studio? 

A masculine and muscular duct brings out 
the smiles on ‘“Chef” McNeill. No wonder, 
for hasn’t he got openers—a pair of Jacks? 


... iu /ie//iin<f fo in&/iile 

\ our W onderful Letters arc a constant source 
of inspiration. They are really the only means Don 
and the gang have of knowing whether or not 
their efforts are pleasing. Each letter is carefully 
read and everything quotable winds up in Don’s 
hig hlack note-book. 

As a resxdt, your letters set the tempo of the 
program. Mrs. Ethel Lee Smith of Somerset, 
Mass., summed up a typical audience reaction 
when she wrote: 

“I like the variety of the Breakfast Club, not 
too much of one thing, and the fact that every 
member of the houshold can find something to 
laugh about or listen to. My 12 year old son loves 
the jokes. My 16 year old son thrills to the music 
and my 2 year old daughter seems to enjoy the 
whole program. She has heard ‘Good Morning, 
Breakfast Clubbers’ four times each day from 
the time she was born, and ‘Good Morning’ were 
the first words she said when she learned to 


A substantial number of regular listeners are 
"shut-ins” to whom Don gives special attention 
when selecting material for a breakfast Club pro¬ 
gram. Their appreciative responses more than 
compensate for any extra time he spends in trving 
to please them. 

Representative of the thousands of shut-ins w ho 
are loyal Breakfast Clubbers is Margaret Nicker¬ 
son Martin of Jackson, Mich. It is nearly nine 
years now that Mrs. Martin has been confined to 
her home, and during this time she has sent more 
than 50,000 messages of hope and cheer to all the 
world; especially to those who like herself are not 
permitted to partake of a more strenuous life. 

She has had many hymns and poems set to 
music which are heard in churches and over the 
air waves. Her patriotic poems are epic. Don has 
featured a number of Mrs. Martin’s inspirational 
messages on Memory Time. The last one he read, 
"The All American Dad,” has been widely hailed 
and is reprinted here with Mrs. Martin's special 


lie stands with men of the ages 
Unique in his way of life; 

Kindness his one great virtue 
Generous to child and wife. 

Not always the graceful lover; 

Not always in fashion clad; 

But the kind of man to tie to 
This All American Dad! 

For homes are the hope of a nation 
And fathers are fighting today 
In fox holes and home front alike 
To keep the American wav. 

So tc* that prince of a fellow 
A rock in a world gone mad; 

We gladly pay homage and honor 
The All American Dad! 

Somewhere in the great Hereafter 
Where the laurel leaves are green 
There must he something splendid 
Some wealth of love unseen 
Rewarding all the worry 
Lifting the cares he had 
Welcoming home to glory 
The All American Dad! 

One of the most beloved features on the 
Breakfast Club is Inspiration Time. There are a 
lot of reasons why people listen to the program, 
but most of them seem to come to the conclusion 
that the Breakfast Club gives them something 
they need. 

Mrs. Arthur E. Meigs of Warren, Ohio ex¬ 
presses this thought succintly: 

“One morning while very depressed, I turned 
the radio on just as you were starting Inspiration 
Time. The thought for the day was just whal I 
needed and it did so much to lift me out of that 
terrible mood that I have listened ever since. I 
always find help in Inspiration Time.” 

Copies of Inspiration Time subjects are re¬ 
quested in almost unbelievable quantities. Here 
are some of the most popular in the last two years: 



To learn to drive the auto, dear. 

First push the lever into gear. 

Then push your left foot in like this; 

That’s fine! Now teacher gets a kiss. 

Now step upon the starter, so; 

That makes the peppy engine go. 

Now let your left foot hack like this; 

Good! Teacher gets another kiss. 

Upon the gas you now must step. 

That fills the engine full of pep. 

That’s great! You are a clever miss. 

Here, teacher gets another kiss. 

Now change to second. Now to high. 

You do that just as good as I. 

Now stop the car right here, and then 
We’ll do the lesson once again. 


First, see your car is out of gear. 

How?—by this gear-shift lever here. 

How can you tell? Why, I feel it. See? 

The thing is simple as can he. 

Now step on that to make it start. 

Great Scott! You’ll tear it all apart. 

If you don’t take your foot off quick 
The second that it gives a kick. 

Now throw your clutch. For goodness sake! 

Your clutch! Your clutch! No, not your brake! 
Why? ’Cause I tell you to, that's why. 

There, now, you needn’t start to cry. 

Now pull this lever into low. 

Step off the gas and start off slow. 

Look out! You almost hit the fence. 

Here, let me drive! You’ve got no sense! 



“You never do anything right” 

Said a petulant wife to her spouse. 

“Y ou can't put a screen in a window 
Unless you tear up the whole house.” 

“I can track you around hy the ashes 

Y ou flip from vour cigaret. 

Y ou forget all about the doormat 
Whenever the weather is wet.” 

“You splash up the bath-room mirror 
And leave the soap in the howl; 

And the way you muss up the kitchen 
Would try any woman’s soul.” 

“Y our magazines, hooks, and papers 
Are scattered all over the room; 

And you make the whole place as untidy 
As though it was hit hy a bomb.” 

I am far from perfect,” said hubby, 

“I make many mistakes that I rue; 

But in picking a partner in m°rriage 
I did a lot better than you!” 

Norman I. Schiller 
An ardent Breakfast Clubber 
from Youngstown, Ohio 


Sitting on my G.I. bed— 

My G.I. hat upon my head. 

My G.I. pants, my G.I. shoes, 

Everthing free, nothing to lose, 

G.I. razor, G.I. comb— 

G.I. wish that I were home! 

They issued everything we need— 

Paper to write on, books to read. 

They issue food to make vou crow, 

G.I. want a long furlough! 

Your belt, your shoes, your G.T. tie—- 
Everything free, nothing to buy. 

You eat your food from G.I. plates. 

Buy your needs at G.I. rates. 

It’s G.I. this and G.I. that, 

G.I. haircut, G.I. hat. 

Everything here is Government Issue, 

G.I. wish that I could kiss you! 

Sent hy Mary E. Stewart 

' Phila. 28, Pa. 


I ask Thee for a sure and certain skill, 

A patient and consecrated will. 

I ask Thee for a while and perfect dream, 

A vision of the deep and wide unseen; 

Dear Lord, I need those things so much, so much, 
A little child is plastic to my touch. 

I ask Thee for a love that understands 
^ hen it should reach and when withdraw its hands, 
A selfishness that flings the locked door wide 
For youth to enter while I step aside; 

Dear Lord, I need these things so much, so much 
A human soul lies plastic to my touch. 


• • • 


It takes a dad and a mother to understand 
the trials and tribulations of being a dad and a 
mother. So, Don and I constantly examine your 
contributions for bright little verses that will 
reflect bright little faces. 

Here is a poignant little verse sent in by Mrs. 
George Benton of Minot, North Dakota, which 
we like very much. 


A sad faced little fellow, sits alone in deep disgrace; 
There’s a lump arising in his throat and tears drop down 
his face. 

He wandered from his playmates he doesn’t want to hear 
Their shouts of merry laughter since the world has lost 
its cheer. 

He has sipped the cup of sorrow 
He has dripped the bitter glass 

And his heart is fairly breaking— the boy who didn't pass. 

In the apple tree the robin sings a cheery little song 
But he doesn’t seem to hear it. Showing plainly some¬ 
thing’s wrong. 

Comes his faithful little Spaniel for a romp and bit of play. 
But the troubled little fellow bids him sternly "go away!” 
And alone be sits in sorrow with his hair a tangled mass 
4nd his eyes are red with weeping—the boy who didn’t 

Oh, you who boast a laughing son, and speak of him as 

And you, who love a little girl who comes to you at night, 
\\ ith shining eyes and dancing feet with honors from her 

Turn to that lonely lad that thinks he is a fool 
And take him kindly by' the hand, the dullest of his class 
He is the one who most needs love—the boy who didn't 

Because of copyright and other restrictions it’s 
impossible for Don to answer all the requests for 
copies of poems read on Memory Time. But I’m 
sure that you, and the thousands who requested 
the following poem, will be glad to see it here. It 
was written and sent in by Mrs. Pearl Elder of 
Raymond, Mississippi. 


“Those pesky dandelions,” my neighbor cried, 

\re spoiling our lovely, grassy lawn. 

We must surely dig them up, if left alone. 

They grow more rapidly with every dawn.” 

The years slip hack, and in my mind 1 see 
A little boy, with sunny yellow hair. 

Such a happy, laughing little hoy. 

Who smiles at me from out the doorway there. 

His chuhhv little arms reach out to me. 

His cap is filled with flowers vellow-gold. 

The sun reflects the light upon his face 
From blossoms of the dandelions hold. 

I wore them proudly, as a Queen her crown. 

He brought them all to me to deck my hair. 

Ah, Cod in Heaven, since he loved them so, 

I hope You have some dandelions . . . Up There. 

Every mother’s heart heats a little faster as she 
experiences or recalls the first day of school. This 
rhyme by Neva A. Beers is still being requested, 
although it was presented on Memory Time more 
than a year ago. 


He started off to school today 
My little man. 

How eagerly he grasps at Life 
His little hand 

Outstretched for all that it may hold, 

Heedless of the shadows 
Seeing but the gold. 

I would not hold him back 
My little son, 

Alt ho’ he seems yet but a babe 
Life just begun. 

They are so few—his six short years. 

And while my heart is filled with pride. 

My eyes are filled with tears. 

I do not ask that he he spared 
For he must grow, 

Send shadows with the sun 

That he may know 

Life’s joys are sweeter after care. 

But send no more, dear God, 

Than his small heart can bear. 

And as his hands reach forth 
To pluck Ambition’s star. 

Be gentle, with him. Lord, 

As Mothers are. 

To Jeff Dickerson of the editorial staff of the 
Cincinnati Enquirer we are indebted for this real 
life "Memory Time.” 

"An eight-year-old girl in this city was stricken with 
malignant fever. (The parents wish her to remain anony¬ 
mous except that her first name is Natalie). 

Doctors despaired of her recovery. They advised the 
crisis would be reached on a certain night. The little pain- 
racked body tossed fitfully. Sleep was out of the question, 
and she was in too weakened a condition to permit use of 

Lullabyes were hummed and fairy stories told, but 
to no avail. Finally her mother said: “Don’t you 
want to go to sleep so you can wake up in the morn¬ 
ing and hear the radio?” 

The child’s face brightened. Weakly, she inquired 
if she went to sleep could she hear the Breakfast Club 
in the morning. Assured that she could—believe it 
or not—she sank into a deep sleep; the crisis passed 
and now she’s running about again as good as new. 

So sometimes when you’re a bit discouraged; when you 
find your jokes lying just where you laid them; when Nancy 
is not so well pleased with her register; when Jack Baker 
just doesn’t seem to sparkle and the band thinks itself a 
bit sour, don’t go off the deep end. 

Just have your own little "Memory Time” in recalling 
that God and you, Nancy, Jack and the hoys in the band 
saved the life of a little child. That’s all.” 


J. D. Dickerson 

★ -k ★ 

A conscientious effort has been made to give proper 
credit to the authors of the poems contained in this 
hook. We wish to thank the many authors who gave 
us their kind permission to reprint their poems. If 
we have failed to list the authorship of any of these 
poems we beg forgiveness of the author, and would 
like to rectify the error in subsequent editions. 


Because Don and I have such grand mothers, 
sometimes I think we are a little partial in select¬ 
ing so many mother-poems for Memory and 
Inspiration Time. Fortunately, however, this 
devotion is shared by all Breakfast Clubbers. 

Mrs. Jane Proctor of Orlando, Florida sent in 
this verse with the comment that critics have 
pronounced it the best Mother poem in existence. 
We think you will agree. 


Who went through the dark shades of death 
To give me form and flesh and breath? 

Who pressed me to her eager heart. 

And prayed that we should never part. 

And smiled at me despite her smart? 

My Mother. 

Who eased my pains and dried my tears. 

And banished all my early fears? 

Who rocked me patiently each day. 

And sang my little woes away? 

Who saw my billies hut as play? 

My Mother. 

Who was my true, my constant guide. 

And spoke of me with joy and pride? 

Who toiled for me before my birth. 

And showed me heaven here on earth? 

In hours of gloom as those of mirth? 

My Mother. 

Who taught me how to thwart defeat. 

And cause temptation’s quick retreat? 

Vi ho gave me hope and strength to hear 
The load of grief and daily care? 

Who ever saved me from despair? 

My Mother. 

W ho kept: alive her faith in me? 

Believing more than she could see? 

W ho made my happiness her goal. 

And played for me a martyr’s role? 

Who loved me most? God rest her soul— 

My Mother. 

"I have a prayer,” writes Mrs. Julian Bland 
Ballard of Houston, Texas, ’’that I’m praying 
daily now ... a prayer that I’m sure Mother 
prayed before I was born. I found it pasted in an 
obi cook book she bad as a bride. It does not give 
the author’s name, but I’m sure it was clipped 
from the Kansas City Star.” 

(For the Child to Come) 

God, I am going down to find a little soul, a thing that 
shall he mine as no other thing in the world has been mine. 

Keep me for my child’s life. Bring me through my hour 
strong and well for the sake of my baby. 

Prepare me for real motherhood. Preserve my mind 
from doubts, and worries, and all fearsome misgivings, 
that I may not stain my thoughts with cowardice, for my 
child's sake. 

Drive all angers and impurities, all low and unworthy 
feelings from me, that the little mind that is forming may 
become a brave, clean wrestler in this world of dangers. 

And, God, when the child lies in my arms, and draws his 
life from me, and when his eyes look up to mine; to learn 
what this new world is like, I pledge Thee the child shall 
find reverence in me, and no fear; truth and no shame; love 
strong as life and death, and no hates nor petulancies. 

God, make my baby love me. I ask no endowments for 
excellencies for my child, but onlv that the place of mother¬ 
hood, once given me, may never be taken from me. As 
long as the soul lives that I shall bring forth, let there be 
in it one secret sbrine that shall always be mother’s. 

Give the child a right, a clean mind, and a warm, free 

And I promise Thee that I shall study the child, and seek 
to find what gifts and graces Thou has implanted, and to 
develop them. I shall respect the child’s personality. 

I am but Thy little one, O Father. I fold my hands and 
ut them between Thy hands, and say, "Give me a normal 
aby, and make me a normal mother.” Amen. 


Long long ago; so I have been told. 

Two angels once met on the streets paved with gold. 
"By the stars in your crown," said the one to the other 
' I see that on earth you, too, were a mother. 

"And by the blue-tinted halo you wear 

"You, too, have known sorrow and deepest despair.” 
"Ah, yes,” she replied, "I once had a son, 

A sweet little lad, full of laughter and fun. 

"But tell of your child.”—"Oh, I knew T was blest 
From the moment I first held him close to my breast. 
And my heart almost burst with the joy of that day.” 
"Ah, yes,” said the other, "I fell the same way.” 

The former continued, "The lirst steps he took 
So eager and breathless,— the sweet startled look 
Which came over his face—he trusted me so,—” 

"Ah, yes,” sighed the other,—"How well do I know!” 

"But soon he had grown to a tall handsome boy 
So stalwart and kind—and it gave me such joy 
To have him just walk down the street by my side.” 

"Ah, yes,” said the other, "I felt the same pride.” 

"How often I shielded and spared him from pain 
And when he for others was so cruelly slain, 

"When they crucified him—and they spat in his face. 
How gladly would I have hung there in his place!” 

A moment of silence,—"Oh, then you are she,— 

The Mother of Christ,” and she fell on one knee; 

But the Blessed One raised her up, drawing her near. 

And kissed from the cheek of the woman, a tear. 

"Tell me the name of the son you loved so. 

That I may share with you your grief and your woe.” 
She lifted her eyes, looking straight at the other, 

"He was Judas Iscariot. I am his mother.” 


(by permission) 

Dedicated to all mothers—young or old—is this 
anonymous plea. It carries a message that even 
the most thoughtful will appreciate. 


If you’re ever going to love me love me now, while 
I can know 

All the sweet and tender feelings which from real 
affections flow. 

Love me now, while I am living; do not wait till I 
am gone 

And then chisel it in marhle—warm love words on 
ice-cold stone. 

If you’ve dear, sweet thoughts about me, why not 
whisper them to me? 

Don’t you know ’twould make me happy and as glad 
as glad could he? 

If you wait till I am sleeping, ne’er to waken here 

There’ll he walls of earth between us and I couldn’t 
hear you then. 

If you knew someone was thirsting for a drop of 
water sweet 

Would you be so slow to bring it? Would you step 
with laggard feet? 

There are tender hearts all round us who are thirsting 
for our love; 

Why withhold from them what nature makes them 
crave all else above? 

I won’t need your kind caresses when the grass grows 
o’er my face; 

I won’t crave your love or kisses in my last low resting 

So, then, if you love me any, if it’s but a little hit. 
Let me know it now while living; I can own and 
treasure it. 

There are dozens of other Mother-favorites 
which might be reprinted, hut I believe they are all 
appropriately summed up in this Credo. Sent in 
by Mrs. William C. Dixon, Jr. of Clayton, New 
York, the author is unknown, but it originally 
appeared in the News Letter sent to all Home 
Bureau Members. 


I have a deep conviction, when I clean and sew and bake. 
That in hands like my own lies the Destiny of America. 
While silver wings fly reassuringly and protectingly across 
the sky above. 

We, with loving hearts and busy hands, guard and watch 
those beneath the roof of home. 

I do not say by hanging crisp, fresh curtains I can stay the 
hands of the enemy. 

But I know that I can bring a feeling of bright Serenity to 
those around me. 

If I can bring order out of chaos in this small home, I will 
nurture a sense of well-ordered living. 

If I can plant seeds in the Spring, I can show by that small 

That God’s great miracle of creation exceeds by far a war 
lord's lust for destruction. 

If I can fill my children’s lives with beauty, and show them 
bright sunsets. 

And night skies filled with stars, I shall prove to them daily 
That an Infinitely Kind and Loving Father still rules the 

And if, in spite of all precautions that we take, 

I have to put the armor on that dear son, 

I shall fasten it with bright buckles of Courage and Truth 
and Love, 

And I shall pray for strength for him and me. 

For I still believe that in my folded hands lies the 
"Destiny of America.” 

• • • 


To succeed, a variety program like the Break¬ 
fast Club must tickle the funny bone of the 
youngster; it must provide sentiment and in¬ 
spiration for the oldster; it must supply love and 
home interests. In short, it must run the emo¬ 
tional gamut of life itself. 

You, the audience, determine the range and 
extent of the Breakfast Club. Your contributions 
and your notes of appreciation set the pace. How 
widespread these audience-interests are is vividly 
reflected in your requests for reprints. 

Here is a beautiful verse, sent in by H. A. Kelle- 
her of Jackson Heights, New York, that strikes a 
sensitive chord with most adult listeners: 


God bless you! Words are empty things— 

We speak and think not of our saying— 

But in this phrase forever rings 
The higher tenderness of praying. 

It means so much—it means that I 
Would have no fears or frets distress you. 

Nor have your heart timed to a sigh, 

God hless you! 

This trinity of blessed words 
Holds all my wishes, oldest, newest. 

The fairest deeds that ean he wrought, 

The holiest greeting, and the truest, 

’Tis more than wishing joy and wealth, 

That kindly fortune may caress you. 

That you may have success and health, 

God hless you! 

God hless you! Why, it means so much, 

I almost whisper as I say it; 

I dream that unseen fingers touch 
My hands in answer as I pray it; 

May all it means to all mankind 
In all its wondrousness possess you. 

Through sun and cloud and calm and wind, 

God hless you! 

Both adults and youngsters seemed to like this 
change-of-pacer that hopped its way into the studio 
one sunny morning: 

What a funny thing a frog are 
When he run he jump— 

When he sit he stoop 

On his funny little tail 

Which he ain’t got none—hardly. 

Since Sam has taken on the role of heckler, Don 
finds himself playing straight man more times 
than he cares to count. Remember this one?: 

Don: How did you get bags under your eyes? 
Sam: Well, to he sure to wake up in time for the 
Breakfast Club this morning, I took a toaster to 
bed with me thinking it was an alarm clock. 

Don: A toaster? It kept you warm, didn’t it? 

Sam: Yeah, not only that. It kept throwing me 
out of bed every three minutes. 

Equally universal in its appeal is this verse sent 
in by Mrs. L. Farber of Philadelphia. 

I wonder if Christ had a little black dog. 

All curly and wooly like mine; 

With two silky ears and a nose voiind and wet. 

And two eyes, brown and tender, that shine. 

I'm sure if He had, that little black dog 
Knew right from the start He was God, 

That he needed no proof that Christ was divine 
But just worshipped the ground that He trod. 

I’m afraid that He hadn’t, because I have read 
How He prayed in the garden alone; 

For all of His friends and disciples had fled— 

Even Peter, the one called a stone. 

And oh, I am sure that little black dog. 

With a heart so tender and warm. 

Would never have left Him to suffer alone. 

But creeping right under His arm. 

Would have licked those dear fingers, in agony clasped; 
And counting all favors but loss. 

When they took Him away would have trotted behind. 
And followed Him quite to the Cross. 

Elizabeth Gardner Reynolds. 

I never know whether to classify this poem 
under "Love” or "Friendship” but I do know that 
it has a tremendously strong appeal to Breakfast 
Clubbers. Published anonymously in the Wall 
Street Journal years ago it is called: 


I love you not only for what you are but for what I 
am when I’m with you; 

I love you not only for what you have made of your¬ 
self hut what you are making of me; 

I love you for putting your hand into my heaped 
up heart and passing over all the foolish weak things 
you can’t help dimly seeing there, and drawing out 
in the light all the beautiful belongings that no one 
else had looked quite far enough to find; 

I love you because you are helping me to make of 
the lumber of my life not a tavern but a temple, out 
of the work of my everyday life not a reproach hut 
a song; 

I love you because you have done more than any 
creed could have done to make me good and more 
than any fate could have done to make me happy; 

You have done it without a touch, without a word, 
without a sigh; 

You have done it by being yourself. 

Perhaps that is what being a friend means, after 

After reading this gem sent in by Mrs. G. R. 
Tillema of Westfield, Mass, we all rededicate our¬ 
selves, I’m sure, to the beloved task of rearing 
more little imps. 


He empties ash trays on the rugs 
And muddies up the floors. 

Cuts patterns in the curtains and 
Draws pictures on the doors. 

He dunks his elbows in his milk 
And while we're saying grace 
He splashes in his cereal 
And daubs it ’round his face. 

Strews pots and pans thruout the house. 

Digs up my favorite flowers; 

In fact, he’s just a terror during 
All his waking hours 

Till bedtime. Then a halo sprouts 
Above a smile so sad— 

He prays, B’ess Mum and Daddy, God, 

And P'EASE make me not so had. . .” 

If my eyes and ears were marble 
And my heart a stony chasm, 

I might resist that last—but heck— 

I’m only protoplasm! 

—Betty Heisser. 

Real-life dramas work their way into the pro¬ 
gram with the greatest of ease. I like the one Don 
tells about Grandpa who was having his after¬ 
supper nap in the armchair and emitting sounds 
that might easily have come from a cross-cut saw\ 
As Don entered the room, he saw little Bobby 
twisting one of Grandpa’s waistcoat buttons. 

“What are you doing?’’ he whispered, “You 
musn’t disturb Grandpa.’’ 

“I’m not Daddy,’’ said Bobby, “I was just trying to 
tune in on something different.” 

Also true to life is this morning-after ballad 
submitted by Andrew Gorey, Secretary to the 
Police Commissioner, of Boston, Massachusetts. 


Step softly! The life of the parly 
Is trying to sleep overhead. 

So pick up your toys 
Like good little boys 
And go play at the neighbors’ instead. 

No, lambs, your papa isn’t dying. 

And he hasn’t the measles or mumps. 

He's just got a pain 
On the top of his brain 
And his spirits are down in the dumps. 

Last night he worked overtime trying 
To prove to his guests and to me 
I hat middle-aged men 
Could he youngsters again. 

But the strain laid him low, as you see. 

Last night he turned handsprings and cartwheels 
And swung from the hall chandelier. 

Or with murderous whoops 
Attack enemy troops. 

While applause urged him on from the rear. 

Last night he was General MacArthur 
Joe Louis, Leander, and Clive— 

Last night, full of vim. 

He went out on a limb. 

And today he is barely alive. 

So run along, kiddies, and don’t slam 
The door as you go out to play 
To tell you the truth 
He's allergic to youth 
Of any description today! 

• • 


In their travels to various parts of the country 
doing patriotic shows, on visits to veteran’s hos¬ 
pitals, camps, etc. the Breakfast Club gang has 
been able to observe Ameriea-at-War. The picture 
hasn't always been pretty. The toil and sacrifice of 
the big and the little thrilled them; the tragedy of 
broken homes sobered them; but the occasional 
show of intolerance saddened them most. 

For that reason, Don was quick to air the fol¬ 
lowing letter shortly after his return from a trip 
during which they had witnessed such an un- 
American act. The letter was written by a woman 
who asked that her name not be mentioned. 

"Dear Don McNeill: 

I am not a Catholic nor a Protestant, but I am an 
American. I believe I am as patriotic and loyal to my coun¬ 
try as any good American. Hut I certainly feel let down 
when time after time you hear people who continually say 
we do nothing for our country and we are only parasites 
and should be annihilated. "That Hiller is doing one smart 
thing by getting rid of the Jews.” 

Sitting on a bus 1 heard a man make that remark. Do 
you wonder why 1 am writing to you, telling you my story? 
Asking you to tell our America just what one little Jewish 
family so far has done. 

My oldest son, who was 18 years old, gave his life for his 
country while on extra hazardous duty on his ship some¬ 
where on the Atlantic Ocean. He died two weeks before 
Pearl Harbor. 

My second son w ill be going soon as an Army Air Cadet. 
My husband gave up a fine job to work for defense. 

My two youngest boys help gather scrap and made a 
beautiful Victory Garden. And my little girl, who is 3J4 
years old, sings "God Bless America.” 

I am a Nurses Aide and give between 5 and 10 hours a 
week in the hospital. 

Should we be annihilated? Born and raised as Americans 
. . . doing our little bit, but I think the little hit that means 
so much with other little hits that are being done. And I 
know if there is more we can do w e w ill be the first to do it. 
Vet do you wonder the way I feel that people should say 
such things? And I know there are other Jewish families 
that have done as much and more, and get the same slap 
in the face. 

Letters of condolence perhaps constitute the 
most difficult writing we have to do. Not long ago 
an army major lost a son who was a second 
lieutenant and a pilot of a Liberator bomber. The 
son was killed in action. Another army major 
wrote the following letter, which Cedric Adams 
reprinted in the Minneapolis Star-Journal with 
the comment: "This is a classic.” 

“Dear Frank: 

I just heard that your son has joined a new outfit. 
Neither you nor he wanted that transfer. But both 
of you were ready when it came through. I hear it’s 
a pretty fine unit—maybe the best there is. I know 
some of the boys who joined up earlier. Swell guys, 
all of them. They say the Commanding Officer 
knows each one by his first name. Some day we shall 
all have a chance to meet Him and see His gang. 
Meanwhile, it’s pretty tough going—awful tough. 
But it can be handled—especially because that’s the 
way he would want it. I guess I should extend to 
you some formal statement of sympathy, but I don’t 
think you need or want that from me. You and I— 
yes, and your son, too, know what that means. So 
tough it out, soldier, and keep firing.” 

Wounded Sailors at Great Lakes look 
at Marion ami say “Yeah, Mann.” 

But with it all we still go on singing, "God Bless Amer¬ 

Sincerely yours,” 

The rank-and-file of our women may feel left 
out of things at times. But, whenever I sense that 
"pity-poor-me” attitude working up to the surface 
on any of my friends I mail them a copy of this 
prayer which was clipped from a periodical: 


HELP ME, Almighty God, to be the only kind of hero 
I can ever be. 

HELP ME see how important it is that I go gladly and 
energetically about the humdrum business of 
saving my tires and my fuel, of spending less 
and saving more, of asking less and giving 

HELP ME see that while the war may he won no matter 
what I do, the light we light to keep alive may 
go out because of what I prove myself to be. 

HELP ME to realize that Americans are fighting today, 
not to create freedom and opportunity for the 
ruthless and greedy, but to make it possible 
for the kind men, men of integrity, responsible 
men to work in peace, and to work for the com¬ 
mon good. 

HELP ME to realize that these fighting men—indeed,the 
good men and women of the whole world are 
waiting now for one small but all important 
sign from me. 

THEY KNOW I can’t join them in the blood and dirt. 

But they want to see if I will seek responsi¬ 
bility. They wait now to see if I need merely 
to he led to do my part or if I must he driven. 
For that will tell them if their spirit is also my 
spirit, and their purpose mine. 

HELP ME not to fail them. Amen. 

The following poem has quite a history. It was 
written by Frances Anger-Mayer of Kansas City, 
Mo. and was published in several journals under 
the title of CONVERSION. Apparently a number 
of copies found their way to our fighting boys 
overseas, for several instances of finding copies of 
it on bodies of unknown Yanks killed in action 
have been brought to our attention. 

It was presented on the Breakfast Club as the 
"Poem of the Unknown Soldier” read by James 
J. Walker on his regular Sunday afternoon broad¬ 
cast from New York City. We are happy to credit 
it here to its true authoress—Frances Anger- 


Look God, I have never spoken to You, 

But now I want to say How do You do. 

You see, God, they told me You didn’t exist, 

And like a fool, I believed all this. 

Last night from a shell hole, I saw Your sky 
I figured right then they had told me a lie. 

Had I taken time to see things You made, 

I’d have known they weren’t calling a spade a spade. 
I wonder, God, if You'd shake my hand. 

Somehow, I feel that You will understand. 

Funny I had to come to this hellish place. 

Before I had time to see Your Face. 

Well, I guess there isn’t much more to say. 

But I’m sure glad, God, I met You today. 

I guess the “Zero hour” will soon he here. 

But I’m not afraid since I know You’re near. 

The Signal! Well, God, I’ll have to go, 

I like You lots, this I want You to know. 

Look now, this will he a horrible fight. 

Who knows, I may come to Your house tonight. 

Though I wasn’t friendly to You before, 

I wonder, God, if You’d wait at Your door. 

Look, I’m crying! Me! Shedding tears! 

I wish I had known You these many years. 

Well, I have to go now, God, good-bye! 

Strange, since I met You, I'm not afraid to die. 

"Don’t Forget to Pray” is the advice given to 
those in the service of their country. 

It was sent in by Blanche R. Kinstle of Mau¬ 
mee, Ohio. 

Soil, there ain't so much that we can say 
Though deep within our hearts. 

There's countless thoughts we can't express 
When it comes time to part. 

Of course, we'll tell you to be brave 
After you’ve gone away. 

But first of all comes this advice. 

Son, don’t forget to pray. 

We won’t be with you over there— 

Your hand can’t touch ours when 
You reach for just a friendly touch. 

And comes remembrance then. 

But up above, there’s Someone \\ ho 
Hears every word you say. 

And when things are the toughest. Son, 

Just don’t forget to pray. 

There ain’t much we can say to help 
When times like these arise. 

Except to say ’tis best to look 
For aid up in the skies. 

For He Who watches over you 

When you are far away 

Will be the One Who cares for you; 

Son, don’t forget to pray. 

Some day you will be back with us— 

Some day you'll understand 
That pathways leading to the best 
Are guided by His band. 

And though there ain’t much folks like us— 

Just plain old folks—can say, 

’Tis with believing hearts we ask 
Son—Don’t forget to pray. 

• • • 


Now, the radio world knows that you Break¬ 
fast Clubbers not only listen to your favorite 
program on your Blue Network Station, but that 
you go out and campaign for it. We were all very 
proud of the way you participated in the Charter 
Membership Drive and the Contest for New 
Listeners in the spring of 1944. 

Don looked forward to your usual enthusiastic 
response, but, frankly, neither he nor the post 
office were quite prepared for the deluge of mail 
which poured in when the first announcements 
were made. Experts still blink when we tell them 

Don helps Pat Conlon, Quiz Kid, when 
he made a guest appearance on the 
Breakfast Club fill out his application 
for a charter membership card. 

Left to right: Mrs. Dorothea Harris, 

Mrs. Beth McNeely, Mrs. Frank Whise. 

that 875,000 of you applied for charter member¬ 
ship cards in the first u eek. 

That’s a record you can he proud of, for, as 
far as I know 7 , in the history of radio no other 
audience has ever responded in such great num¬ 
bers in such a short time. You may remember 
that the offer had to he withdrawn after the first 
week because the post office and the Blue Net¬ 
work staff couldn’t keep up with the flood of 

This must have been a disappointment to many 
of you who had planned to write for your member¬ 
ship card during the second week. Don is sorry 
about this, but perhaps, after the world returns 
to normalcy they will be able to work out some 
plan so that all of you may have membership 

A total of 113 awards, valued at $4,700 in War 
Bonds and Stamps were given away to charter 
members and new listeners. Mrs. Dorothea Harris 
of St. Petersburg, Fla., won the contest and 
$1,000 in bonds, while Mrs. Frank Whise, also of 
St. Petersburg was awarded an identical prize of 
$1,000 for being the charter member who helped 
the winner with her entry. In the picture above, 
that’s Mrs. Beth McNeely, director of women’s 
programs at WSUN in St. Petersburg, announc¬ 
ing the good news to the winners. 



The rest of the book is ours now, so 
take down your hair girls and let the 
wives-cracks fall where they may. 


• • • 

Dorothy W. Barr 
Upper Darby, Pa. 

Mrs. Albert Barsch 
Bayonne, N. J. 

Mrs. Geo. II. Bates 
Fall Kiver, Mass. 

Mrs. W. W. Bilger 
Miami, Florida 

M rs. W. A. Bjorklnnd 
Hoopeston, Illinois 

Mrs. W. E. Blaney 
M ariemont 
Cincinnati, Ohio 

Mrs. ¥m. F. Brunelli 
Franklin, Mass. 

Mrs. Martin F. Bump 
Troy, New York 

Mrs. Anna Carmody 
Trenton, N. J. 

Mrs. Luella M. Cary 
Aurora, Illinois 

Mrs. Clifford Christine 
Corpus Christi, Texas 

Mrs. Frances Dyer Clary 
Jacksonville, Florida 

Mrs. Virginia M. Darling 
Detroit 27, Michigan 

Mrs. J. I*. Dimply 
Alton, Illinois 

Mrs. C. Howard Evans 
Lake Worth, Florida 

Lois B. Flinchbaugh 
B. D. 1 
Red Lion, Pa. 

M rs. Donald E. Flora 
Elgin, Illinois 

Mrs. Harry C. Frank 
New York, New York 

Mrs. Adele Girard 
Galena, Illinois 

Mrs. B. S. Grant 
Indianapolis, Ind. 

Mrs. Fred Gregory 
Lincoln Park 25, Mich. 

Mrs. Wendell A. Grier 
Roanoke, Indiana 

M rs. M. E. Hamm 
B. B. No. 3 
Lehighton, Pa. 

Mrs. Fred Haslett 
North East, Pa. 

M rs. L. Elnora Ilengst 
Grand Rapids 7, Mich. 

M rs. Grace Howard 
Charlestown, Ind. 

Mrs. Jessie Hylton 
\\ est Wyoming, Pa. 

Mrs. Marv A. Jeppson 
Medford, Massachusetts 

Mrs. Thomas Kent 
Flint 5, Michigan 

Mrs. E. C. Keys 
Springfield, Mass. 

Mrs. Lela Holmes Lindley 
West Lafayette, Indiana 

Mrs. Arthur Meigs 
Warren, Ohio 

Mrs. W. Miller 
Cleveland, Ohio 

Mrs. Rita P. Monnier 
Attleboro, Mass. 

Mrs. Floyd Monroe 
Pontiac, Michigan 

Mrs. T. Gerald Moon 
Dayton, Ohio 

Mrs. Marie R. Morin 
Taunton, Massachusetts 

Mrs. Viola Netherland 
Park Ridge, Illinois 

M rs. W. R. Nieman 
Aurora, Illinois 

Mrs. Miriam II. Pike 
Philadelphia, Pa. 

Mrs. Clarence Roberts, Jr 
Sarasota, Florida 

Mrs. L. C. Robertson 
Wichita Falls, Texas 

M rs. Ernest Rouch 
R. I). 3 
Bangor, Pa. 

Mrs. F. M. Rowe 
Daytona Beach, Fla. 

Mrs. John Sally, Jr. 
Kent, Ohio 

M rs. Harold Sauter 
Route No. 2 
Plainfield, Ill. 

Mrs. Leonard Schleicher 
Irvington 11, N. J. 

Mrs. Chas. Schuh 
Buffalo, New York 

Mrs. Ethel Lee Smith 
Somerset, Mass. 

Mrs. Joseph Stoeckel 
R. D. 3 

Binghamton, N. Y. 

Mrs. F,. Van Pelt, Jr. 
Elizabeth 1, N. J. 

Mrs. Laurel Vincent 
R. D. 1 

Amboy, Indiana 

M rs. B. II. Warner 
Adrian, Michigan 

Mrs. T. II. Watson 
Route 1 

Ft. Myers, Florida 





Does Don hold a regular job or is liis whole time 
taken up with this very fine radio program? 

Don manages to keep pretty busy around the studio, even when the show 
is off the air. See illustration on this page. 

How did Don propose to you? 

It took place in the front seat of a Dodge while driving through Cherokee 
Park in Louisville. Ky. I will never forget the flowery language he used, 
lie looked at me and said: “Will you marry me?” and I said: “Yes.” We 
were married at a little Spanish church on Twin Peaks in San Francisco. 
Van Fleming, who was doing a show with Don on the West Coast at the 
time, was our best man. 

Who takes care of the children during the 

In case of minor eruptions, I handle it. If two or more need attention in the 
middle of the night I call on Don. He had experience with children before 
we were married, taking care of his sister who is ten years younger than 
Don. His sister is now Mrs. John Donahue. John, who is a psychiatrist and 
originally from Minnesota, is a lieutenant in the army. 

Will it he possible for him to continue as M. C. 
for many years to come? 

Don hopes he may be able to continue until one of the boys can take over 
the job. Donny always has said: “I’d like Dad’s job. I don’t care what the 
kids say about me!” 


"If you had the opportunity of chatting with 
Don or me in your living room, what is the one 
big unanswered question you would like answered 
in connection with his activities?” 

This is one of the questions I asked my assis¬ 
tant editors in an effort to determine some of the 
things you might like to know about "Don’s 
Other Life.” Their questions were so varied and 
so sincere that I have decided to answer them 
all to the best of my ability. Here they are: 

(NOTE TO PRINTER: “Set these pages in real small 
type because lots of this is secret stuff” Kay.) 

Q. Does Don really joke with you and the children 

as he says he does? 

A. Yes ... but, we provide him with the ammunition. 

Q. Isn’t Don ever depressed or blue? 

A. Like everyone else, he has his moments. I think the most admirable quality 
about Don is that when he does feel depressed he doesn’t try to share the 
mood with us. He retires to his den, or workshop, or sleeps it off. Most 
people picture him as bubbling over with good health and spirits. There 
are many times when I think ho should miss a show, for instance when he 
injured his back, and again when he insisted on broadcasting, with a strep 
throat, from the hospital bed. Both efforts were great, but he did the shows 
just the same. His greatest disappointment, I believe, was in being classi¬ 
fied 4-F because of this back injury. 

Q. Have you both found the secret of happiness? 

Kay: Mutual tolerance, respect, and love of children are working well for us. We 
think the relationship between parents and children is an important and 
beautiful thing. We look forward to the time when our youngsters will be 
15 or 16 . . . when we can sit down with them and have a frank talk about 
life . . . believe me, we expect to learn plenty. 

Don: The one and only argument we ever had was last summer. It was just a 
little personal matter about the home that went on for about a week. We 
are quite proud of our lawn, and the grass had done right well for the first 
year, too. Well, she bought a sand box for Robert Patrick to play in and 
put it in the middle of the backyard where the grass grew the thickest. I 
protested and said it could be in some other spot where it wouldn’t spoil the 
grass. She said there was no other spot where Robert would get the morn¬ 
ing sun all morning, I said . . . well, why spoil the grass? She said .. . do you 
think more of the grass or of Bobby? And it went on like that for a week. 
She’s a stubborn woman in some ways, you know. But all you gotta do is 
use a little logic and keep talking to her. And you know the sand box doesn’t 
look so bad right in the middle of the back yard at that. 

Q. What would Don do if the stork brought him a 
girl to brag about? 

A. For the last two years we have all been praying for twin girls. The boys 
have promised to take good care of them. Anybody would be very happy 
to have a baby girl and we hope God will bless us with one who will turn out 
to be twins. 

Q. How does Don find time to get in touch with 
the celebrities he brings to the studio? 

A. It’s really no problem. Most of them are acquainted with the program and 
contact Don when they arrive in Chicago from Hollywood or New York. 
They are always very happy to appear on the show. 

Q. Does Don really catch fish? 

A. Yes, he docs very well at it. But he should, for he has a mighty fine teacher 
in his father. That’s Don and his dad entertaining Nancy with stories of 
the ones that got away ... or are they measuring beards? 

I’m the one who urges Don to get away once in a while on a fishing trip, 
for I feel he needs a change from the wear and tear of a 6-day a week pro¬ 
gram. Usually he is able to combine a fishing trip with a bond-selling tour, 
a visit to a disabled veteran’s hospital or to a camp. His health is very im¬ 
portant to all of us and if he didn’t rest and relax occasionally, he wouldn’t 
be able to continue his work. 

Q. Where does Don get his material? 

A. From here, there and everywhere. An artist friend of ours sketched the 
accompanying illustration which is far more descriptive than I could 
hope to be. 

Q. Does Don like to wash dishes? 

A. He doesn’t like to wash dishes and he certainly doesn’t like to wipe them 
but he always pitches in when I ask him for help. He’s very willing—it 
says here. 

Q. W'hat are your hobbies? 

Kay: Golfing, gardening, sewing, weaving and canning, but my favorite hobby 
is my hubby. 

Don: Fishing, hunting, painting, golfing, drawing cartoons, writing, and Kay. 

Q. To what do you attribute Don’s grand person¬ 
ality and even disposition? 

A. To his mother and father. He had a fine start in life. 

Q. If he has no script, how does he judge the time 
so accurately? 

A. There’s a big clock on the studio wall, and he wears a stop watch on his 
wrist to guide him as he wanders around with the mike. 

Q. W'hy in heaven's name isn’t Don on a long 
evening program? 

A. He has been asked to do several evening programs, but that could mean 
giving up the Breakfast Club, which is unthinkable. Someday he might do 
a night show, if it didn’t interfere with the good old B. C. 


c/i /mm ctoek Q)en i/mitr/ 
//(€ ol/m'i /a/f?/ilk life? 

Every man has two loves, if lie 
amounts to anything. One is his work 
and the other is his family. 

Just because Don’s work brings him 
into contact with so many beautiful girls, 
many of our friends and Breakfast Club 
listeners wonder how we manage to be so 
happy. My answer to that question is 
always the same. I believe that what 
Don does during the day is his own busi¬ 
ness—and judging from the art on this 
page, business is usually good. 

Seriously, though, our marriage is 
based on mutual tolerance, respect and 
love of children. You know that he loves 
his work by the enthusiasm he puts into 
it every day and we know that he loves 
his family by the many considerate and 
lovable things he does for us. 

Phyllis Brooks, Robert Lowry 
anil Jean Heather of Holly¬ 
wood fame were enrolled by 
Don and Merritt Schoenfeld 
of the Blue as charter mem¬ 
bers when they stopped in 
Chicago last March. 

Bill Krenz, Marion Mann, 
Sam, Don, and Jack with a 
group of models at a fashion 
show they put on for the 
grocer’s convention. 


Life with Bother 

//e /ifjul rtf 'jttati/ 

& /ive wif/t/ 


No man is a hero in the eyes of his valet 
or his wife, they say. Don is an exception to 
this rule. Just to prove what a perfect ex¬ 
ample of husbandry he really is I’ve com¬ 
missioned Mike, the roving candid camera¬ 
man, to photograph him in his natural 

Okey, Mike, go to work! Here are your 
captions: He is an early and easy riser; he 
is romantic. He is prompt in leaving work; 
he is an entertaining conversationalist; he 
is liberal; and, best of all, he is a homebody. 


• • • 

£TAe £BefUnd tfe tyifmi 
//ie PMtea/i/ayt c {?/rik 

Air Wives 

Mrs. Jack Owens (Helen): Lots of Breakfast Club wives write Jack 

and ask him how I feel about his singing to all those women in the studio 
every morning. Well, with the manpower shortage, I think we should all he 
willing to share our husbands—that is, with reservations, of course. He can 
sing to all the ladies he wants to, but he better catch the 5:20 home to me and 
the kids every afternoon! 

MTS. Jack Baker (Polly). At the present writing Jack is quite a 

homebody here in Springfield, Mo. Naturally, he is crazy about our 
new baby, and I must admit, I am too. Don used to kid Jack so much 
about his big appetite. He still has it, but now he has to think of the 
baby too—so, as soon as he is through eating his fourth helping of 
chicken he always asks, “Has the baby been fed yet?” Isn’t that sweet? 

Ml*S. Saill Cowling (Bril). Some Breakfast Clubbers might be inclined 
to think, from listening to my husband on the air, that he is silly. And others 
might think he is as silly at home as he is on the Breakfast Club. I would like 
to dispell this theory. Sam is not as silly at home as he is on the air. He is 
much sillier. 

Mrs. Harry ko^m (i\aOmi). I am very proud of the musical 

prowess of my husband, but very few people realize that Harry was a 
fine violinist before he became a leader. However, he has never ad¬ 
mitted that he plays second fiddle at home. Well, who am I to argue 
with a musician? 

The Second Generation 

Sam, Jr. and Billy 

The Owens: Mary 
Ann, 9; Noel, 3; and 
Johnny, 6. 

Gather around now. Breakfast Clubbers, and 
meet the second generation. You’ve met the 
McNeill trio—Tommy, Donny and Bobby—sev¬ 
eral times, but this is the first opportunity we’ve 
had to introduce the Baker, Cowling and Owens 

John Willard Baker 

John Willard Baker just made the deadline for 
this book by arriving on June 29, which is his 
dad’s birthday, too. Don’t you think he is a dead 
ringer for his dad—even to the double chin and 
receding forehead? 

Sam and Billy Cowling, aged 7 anti 5, re¬ 
spectively, struck this reflective pose when 
they were asked to comment on their dad’s 
work. After some deliberation they thought¬ 
fully chorused: “Nuts!” 

"/ liked the two words your Tommy used to de¬ 
scribe Mary Ann Owens: f ff oooo, Woooo!' ” 

It was beginning to look like the Breakfast Club 
of 1960 would be dominated by mere males until 
jack Owens returned to Chicago and the program 
with his lovely family. That was a happy day for 
all of us, and it prompted Mrs. Laurel Vincent of 
Amboy, Ind. to write recently: 


0^tlThee // [/tuff 

1907-1910 Galena, Illinois Pe¬ 
riod. Galena is known as the 
"Birthplace of Glory,” General 
Grant also having been born 
there. Nothing in particular is 
known about Don’s first three 
years there except that one time 
he swallowed an egg and almost 
choked to death. This was his 
first gag. 

1910-1925 Sheboygan, Wiscon¬ 
sin Period. Don grew through 
childhood, grade school and high 
school, winning the name "Daddy 
Long Legs,” later changed to 
"Stinky.” School records from 
this period show he was just a 
normal growing hoy. Hobbies 
ranged from hunting and fishing 
to reading Joe Miller. 

1925-1930 Milwaukee, Wiscon¬ 
sin Period. Honors came often 
and fast to Don as he studied 
journalism at Marquette Univer¬ 
sity. He was Valedictorian of the 
class of 1929; editor of the year¬ 
book; selected by two honor so¬ 
cieties and one social fraternity; 
finished with a four year schol¬ 
astic average of 88>^%. 

. . . Galena 

Mother McNeill introduces 
Don to his first birdie. And he 
responds with the infectious smile 
which you Breakfast Clubbers 
know so well. Now you know, 
too, where Don got his luxuriant 
dark hair. Saturday, December 
23, 1907 was the big day in the 
McNeill household. 

Father McNeill, who is still 
looked upon as one of Wisconsin’s 
leading sportsmen, exerted a 
great influence during this period. 
He taught Don to think straight 
and grow tall in the outdoors. 
They’re still wonderful pals. Sis¬ 
ter Agnes arrived in 1917. 

This is when we met and Don 
started radio work on the side 
to pay for our dates. I hope he 
still thinks it was all worthwhile. 
After graduation he began to tell 
the world in the three ways illus¬ 
trated in this self-cartoon: on the 
radio, as a staff writer and as a 
cartoonist for the radio section. 

. . . Sheboygan 

. . . Milwaukee 

1930-1931 Louisville, Kentucky 
Period. Don left for Kentucky 
and a better radio job. He also 
became radio editor and car¬ 
toonist on the newspaper that 
owned the station. Then he met 
Van Fleming, a popular singer, 
and Don’s sense of humor began 
seeping into the microphone rou¬ 
tine. Soon a new team was born. 

1931-1932 West Coast Period. 
McNeill and Fleming became 
known as "Don and Van, the 
Two Professors.” With plenty of 
enthusiasm and ambition, they 
went out and sold their idea of 
"Coo-Coo College” to a sponsor. 
For a year and a half they aired 
the show on a national hookup 
from the Pacific Coast. 

1933 Starvation Period. This 
was strictly from hunger. With 
radio contracts difficult to renew 
in the West, we all bundled into 
our car and drove to New York 
City. Broadway greeted Van and 
Don with a tremendous hush so 
they dissolved the act. 

Breakfast Club Period. On 
June 23, 1933, Don McNeill 
walked into a Chicago studio and 
a radio show known as the "Pep¬ 
per Pot.” From that day on it 
became the "Breakfast Club” 
and Don became the master of 

. . . Louisville 

. . . West Coast 

Absence makes the heart 
grow fonder, we soon learned. 
On a visit to Louisville, Don 
popped the question and after a 
long pause of one second, I said 
yes. We announced our engage¬ 
ment early in 1931 and Don 
promptly grew a moustache . . . 
"to help me keep a stiff upper lip 
during the depression,” he said. 

We were married in San 
Francisco ... on September 12, 
1931 at the Little Spanish church 
on Twin Peaks. Don always says 
I chased him all the way to the 
West Coast, hut the truth is that 
he couldn’t get time off to come 
East. He begged me to come out 
and marry him there. So I did, 
and we were, and still are. 

After an interlude in Mil¬ 
waukee where Don’s Saturday 
Night Jamboree shows packed 
the Auditorium, he decided to 
try Chicago and "big-time.” 

Here’s where Don started 
Breakfast Clubbing, with me tak¬ 
ing care of production on the 
home front. Little did we know 
that it would be going on strong¬ 
er than ever, years later. Good¬ 
ness knows how much longer it 
will last, but as Don always says, 
"It’s better than working.” 


Air Bosses . . . *yi{wi £Be/ttnd ffe '/(fen and 

Albmen of //<> JB/ne di/etwcfr^ 

One of the first jobs I had to do in preparing 
this book for publication was to secure permission 
from the executives of tlie Blue Network for the 
privilege of using photographs of their artists and 
copyrighted material. All of them were so grand 
and cooperative that I promised to give them a 
place of honor in my book. So, here they are. 

In the photograph on the right, Mark Woods 
(left), president of the Blue Network, and Edgar 
Kobak, the chain’s executive vice president, confer 
with Edward .). Noble (center), principal owner of 
the Blue Network. These gentlemen make their 
headquarters in New York City. 


The Chicago executives, who are responsible 
for the smooth functioning of the Central Division 
of the Network, include these handsome gentle¬ 

Ed BorofT, vice president in charge of the 
Central Division. 

E. K. Hartenbower, former sales manager of 
the division, who is now managing a radio station 
in Kansas City. 

M. R. Sehoenfeld, assistant vice president of 
the Central Division. 

Gene Rouse, program manager, and former 
well-known Chicago announcer. 



MORE BOSSES • • • and more success 

came my way when I asked Don to clear the way 
witli the sponsors of the Breakfast Club air time 
for the publication of Don’s Other Life. Notice 
how diplomatic Don appears in these proceedings, 
but how was he to know that all these kind gentle¬ 
men had previously given me the necessary re¬ 
leases on the grounds "that they were curious, too, 
about that guy’s other life.” 

Don’s guests in the top photograph, left to 
right, are Orville Droege, Bill Holton, Verne 
Beatty, Ernie Swearingen and Carl Thommen— 
all officials of Swift & Co. 

Below he is still in an entertaining mood. The 
dinner check however, was charged to The Kellogg 
Co. and signed by James Bennett, Ralph 01m- 
stead, Earle Freeman, W. H. Vanderploeg, Don, 
L. P. Stafford and J. T. Lewis. (left to right). 


fy/jui&uaf /ibtevwna /ta6ifo 

You’ve seen how and when onr family listens 
to the program. Now let’s observe some of the 
unusual listening habits of other regulars. 

Dorothy W. Barr of Upper 
Darby, Pa. outlines a shuttle 
schedule which may assist other 
readers in arranging an orderly 
work and listen program. "My 
listening schedule," she writes, 
"goes something like this: On 
Monday I try to have my laundry 
work done in time to listen. 
Tuesday I sleep a little longer (I 
am a defense worker for the 
duration) and do my ironing 
while listening. 

Wednesday and Thursday are 
cleaning days, so I try not to run 
the vacuum until it is over. Fri¬ 
day I do my marketing for the 
week and I am afraid 1 miss some 
things, although there is a radio 
in the car. Saturday 1 go over the 
house again, being sure to arrange 
my work so I don’t miss a thing.” 

In contrast, this suggestion 
comes from Mrs. C. Howard 
Evans of Lake Worth, Florida: 
"I concentrate my work in the 
kitchen or living room where the 
radios are. One will miss some¬ 
thing of interest if you try to 
work all over the house.” 

Quickly, here are other inter¬ 
esting listening habits: 

I have both radios going, so I 
can move to one room from an¬ 
other without missing a thing. 
During school months the chil¬ 
dren time themselves by the pro¬ 
gram—Mrs. Donald E. Flora, 
Elgin, Illinois. 

I insist on servicing cars 
equipped with radios while 
I help at the gas station— 
Mrs. Fred Gregory, Lincoln 
Park, Michigan. 

Just sitting and listening, but 
with a cup of coffee on my knee 
that I usually spill—Mrs. Luella 
M. Cary, Aurora, Illinois. 

My daughter had her 
office tune in when the boss 
was on his vacation—Mrs. 
Albert Barsch, Bayonne, N. J. 

Mrs. Martin F. Bump of Troy, 
New York, a nurse’s aid, writes: 
"I listen in the hospital while 
giving baths and making beds.” 

Keeps the children from start¬ 
ing their Indian yells outdoors 
’til a decent hour—Mrs. E. Van 
Pelt Jr., Elizabeth, N. J. 

Several women, including 
Mrs. Grace Howard of Charles¬ 
town, Ind., Mrs. Fred Haslett 
of North East, Pa., and Mrs. 
T. Gerald Moon of Dayton, 
Ohio, chorus: “Knitting for 
the Red Cross and listening 
to the Breakfast Club just 
seem to go together.” 

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/ti/eiitJiff /fj //ie 'leaAflabt c (c/tt6/y: 

Mrs. Floyd Monroe, Pontiac, Mich.—One day when 
you were playing an opera, I was singing at the top of 
my lungs when I became aware of pounding on the 
back door. Answering it, I found the bread man, milk 
man and insurance man offering to help me. They 
thought I was dying. 

Mrs. W. E. Blaney, Cincinnati, Ohio—When our 6 year 
old son was isolated in his room with the measles this winter, 
nothing would satisfy him until we put a radio in his room so 
he could hear the Breakfast Club. He’s been an ardent fan 
ever since he was old enough to appreciate the radio. He 
talks about the cast and your boys as though he knew them 

Mrs. Frances Dyer Clary, Jacksonville, Fla.—While 
doing dishes one morning, I discovered that I was 
missing the Breakfast Club. While running across a 
newly waxed floor with a kettle of hot water in my 
hands I slipped and splashed, breaking a pile of dishes 
on top of it all. I reached the radio just in time to hear 
Don’s cheery voice saying: “This is your toastmaster, 
Don McNeill, saying ‘So long, and be good to your¬ 
self.’ ” 

Mrs. George H. Bates, Fall River, Mass. — During 
March Time one morning I was emptying the baby’s bath- 
inette. While I had the baby in my arms and was marching 
around the nursery, I didn’t notice the pan was overflowing. 
Needless to say, 1 had a large pool of water to clean up. 

Mrs. Virginia M. Darling: Detroit, Mich.—There is one 
Breakfast Club day that will be fresh in my memory forever. 
My sister and her newly acquired beau and my husband and I 
got up at daylight to see the gang in action. We were first in 
line . . . only at the Furniture Mart. Off to a bad start! 
While running for a street car, my sister ran right out of one 
of her shoes, so we missed the car and my sis is still miss(ed). 

Arriving finally at the Merchandise Mart we found 
we were first after all—three hundred and first. To top 
it all off, Don interviewed me and I had a little joke to 
tell . . . but I had to tell it to him first. Raising his 
voice, he said: “Oh no, we can’t tell that on the air.” 
To this day my friends still look at me queerly and 
wonder what a sweet little thing like me could possibly 
have said that couldn’t go over the air. 

Hi! Don McNeill: I am Mrs. Grier, 

I’ve listened to Breakfast Club, many a year. 

Why do I listen? Can’t say just why— 

Must be just because I like the guy. 

I like your gags—I like your style— 

I like the music—and I get a smile 

from Fiction and Facts—and have to grin 

at the way you sneak those "commercials” in. 

I think Jack’s a Baker who earns his dough— 
and Marion Mann adds to your show— 

I like the singing of your Miss Nancy, 
and think her songs are mighty fancy. 

When do I listen to Breakfast Club? 

Sometimes when Baby is in her tub— 

Sometimes when Fm doing the dishes— 
or even feeding the Tropical fishes. 

Fve laughed at many a McNeill joke 
as I sorted laundry, or put it to soak. 

I have no "pet peeve” that’s worth a mention. 

But HURRY that new television invention. 

I’d like to have seen that "mess of messes” 

When you egg-shampooed that lady's tresses. 

I have just one question—I think it's fair— 

Kay! is Don as nice as he sounds on the air? 

Now you know, Kay and Don McNeill, 

How The Breakfast Club makes this housewife feel. 
"Be Good To Yourself” 

Mrs. Wendell Grier 
Roanoke, Indiana 

Mrs. M. E. Hamm, Lehighton, Pa.—Because I like 
the whole show. You see I am a shut-in, and its good, clean 
entertainment helps me forget about myself. 

Mrs. Fred Haslett, North East, Pa.—75% pleasure, 
10% habit, 10% table talk, 5% keeping up with the 
Joneses. All together 100% of jolly, clean fun. 

Mrs. Harry C. Frank, New York City—It starts my 
day with a boost—with a serious thought and with a smile. 

Mrs. Arnold W. Werner, North Canton, Ohio—There 
is no distinction discernahle between radio celebrity and 
listener, because Don has the ability of making the big and 
little fellow feel just the same in equality. Such a contribu¬ 
tion to the welfare and entertainment of his listeners keeps 
him at the top in their appreciation. 

Evidences that the Breakfast Club program 
has a morale-building value to the armed forces as 
well as to the mothers of boys in the service are 
contained in every mail delivery. For example: 

A Mother from South Carolina, who prefers to remain 
anonymous, writes: "I want to tell you what a wonderful 
thing you are doing to lift our spirits. My son has been 
overseas a year now, and like millions of mothers I find the 
days and nights very hard to get through. W hen I get up 
in the morning feeling low . . . there’s the Breakfast Club 
with its wonderful music. Then there'll be a joke or some¬ 
thing funny, and 1 find myself laughing and feeling lots 

“Keep us laughing,” says Seaman Second Class 
Lawrence L. Ross of Chicago from the Naval Hospital on 
Treasure Island, San Francisco, Calif. "The Breakfast 
Club really entertains all of us in our ward,” he says, "and 
when your gang gives to the War Bond effort it really 
thrills me.” 

Corp. M. K. Dickler: "Throughout our barracks every 
morning, it's your Breakfast Club. I've noticed the en¬ 
thusiastic reaction of the enlisted men not only in our 
outfit, but all over Bergstrom Field.” 

“Don is a regular morale keeper upper,” a spokes¬ 
man for the boys of the Medical Detachment of the 29lh 
Engineers located in Portland, Ore. reports. "We 'sweat 
out’ your program every morning. Yea, man! Eat your 
meal with Don McNeill and suffer no indigestion.” 

This is a letter Don received recently from a 
serviceman telling of the results of having him 
meet a young lady from the Breakfast Club audi¬ 
ence and sending them out to dinner and the eve¬ 
ning. Don docs this quite often on the show. 

“Dear Sir: We’re writing you in regard to the meet¬ 
ing of the Breakfast Club on the morning of Sep¬ 
tember 13, 1914 when an Army Lt. met a Cadet 
Nurse and spent a swell evening as guests of Don 
McNeill. We had a wonderful time and we have 
made future plans together. 

Lt. Harry Eumont and Cadet Nurse Pat Murray.” 

Our annual appearance with the boys on the 
program at Christmas time lias come to be a 
memorable event in the McNeill household. We 
always arrive at the studio with butterflies in our 

So many of you have requested copies of my 
letter to Santa Claus from last year’s Christmas 
show that I’ve decided to reprint it here: 

Dear Santa Claus: 

I’d like to write you this year to tell you 
what I don’t want. 

I don’t want another year of war, with its 
suffering and privations for so many peoples 
of the earth. 

I don’t want to ever shirk my responsibilities 
on the home front, so that our boys and girls 
on the fighting front will get the job done as 
soon as possible. 

I don’t want to ever squawk about little 
inconveniences such as rationing when 
I live in a land where the least of us is 
so abundantly provided for. 

I don’t want the families of boys in service, 
especially the mothers to forget for a moment 
that my heart goes out to them in their 
bravery, for I speak as a mother too. 

I don’t want the Breakfast Clubbers to ever 
cease being the most loyal audience in the 
world and neither do I want Don or myself or 
our family to forget how fortunate we are in 
knowing so many millions of you—families 
like ourselves. 

Santa, I think my telling you what I 
don’t want gives you a pretty good idea 
of what I do want. 

Kay McNeill 

• • 

April 24, 1944 was marked l>v fond farewells 
and moist eyes around the Breakfast table. That 
was the day Jack Baker said goodbye to Don and 
the program with which he had been associated 
for eight years. 

The pictures on this page aren’t exactly tear- 
jerkers, but they deserve a place of honor in the 
Breakfast Club’s book of memories. The top one 
shows the gang giving Jack a merry farewell at 
the Merchandise Mart, while the lower photo¬ 
graph finds good old Baker trying to satisfy all the 
autograph seekers in the capacity farewell 

Little 13-year-old Maxine Mulligan of Ken- 

more, N. Y. made us all re-live the tender good¬ 
byes we paid Jack when she wrote: 

“I suppose you have received many letters from 
Jack Baker’s fans after he left. Being thirteen 
years old is sometimes very trying because there is 
so much you cannot understand. The war is one of 
these things. When our fathers and brothers go to 
fight, and maybe don’t come hack, it leaves us a 
little bewildered. 

“Perhaps the cast of the Breakfast Club doesn’t 
realize it, hut they have become what you might, 
call an American Institution. With jokes to cheer 
up those who are feeling blue and thoughtful 
things that make even a young person like me sit 
quietly for a while. Inspiration Time has often 
helped me to learn important lessons that aren’t 
found in textbooks. I am very grateful.” 


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Witness Tells 

Tuesday, June 6, 1944 dawned as just an¬ 
other day in the McNeill household. Before we 
as much as had a sip of coffee, our smug little 
world was turned topsy-turvy by a news bulletin 
we all knew was inevitable, but which we never 
thought we would be quite ready to receive. 

“Under command of General Eisen¬ 
hower, Allied naval forces supported 
by strong air forces, began landing 
Allied armies this morning on the 
northern coast of France.” 

That was all . . . just a few dramatic words . . . 
they said so much and yet they left so much much 
unsaid. I looked at Don. He started to say some¬ 
thing, but only managed to mutter, "This is it!” 
patted the boys’ arms, kissed me goodbye, and 
dashed for his car. 

On the way down to the studio, he told me later, 
he began to formulate a fitting way to observe 
this important day. Before he reached the high¬ 
way he felt he had the formula. First, clear the 
way for the omission of commercials, play patri¬ 
otic music, offer up a prayer, stand by for news 
flashes, and PRAY. 

I’ll always be proud of the way Don handled 
this impromptu assignment. Were you listening? 
Then you’ll remember his appropriate Invasion 
Day prayer which he wrote fifteen minutes before 
he went on the air. 


64 D” Day is here—the day of deliverance for 
men who would be free again—the day of 
liberation. While our first impulse when 
hearing this glorious news—-that the long 
awaited hour has finally arrived—is one of 
exultation and thrills, when we stop to 

ponder for a moment . . . the tremendous 
implications of what is now happening, we 
pause . . . we pray. 

For after all, we have supreme confidence 
in the military abilities of ihe thousands of 
men who are now engaged in the process of 
liberation. There is nothing we can do this 
day, besides carrying on our chosen part in 
the furtherance of the war effort here at 
home, but there is one tremendous, vital, 
necessary and wonderful thing we CAN do for 
them . . . something every mother’s son over 
there needs as much as his military equip¬ 
ment this day. 

You mothers, sweethearts, fathers—all of 
you who have someone near and dear to you 
this day over there—and the rest of us, too— 
every loyal believer in our cause of right¬ 
eousness—MUST PRAY TODAY—that we 
can all do. Those of us who are incapacitated 
who cannot even leave our beds . . . here, you 
shut-in Breakfast Clubbers must lead us 
today—in prayer. 


O, Great God of Justice! Watch over them 
today. They have waited so long for this— 
their hour. You too, dear Lord, had Your 
hour of pain and suffering before deliver¬ 
ance. May all of our brave sons and daugh¬ 
ters, with Your Divine Help have the same 
fortitude and understanding to keep their 
spirits in legion with Yours. Until they, too, 
may see that glorious hour of enlightenment 
for all men, for which we fight. God, we 
trust in Thee. We leave our sons with Yours 
this day. Smile down on them in Thy mercy. 
We need You, today. 

t • • 

They Also Serve 

Ever since Pearl Harbor, the Breakfast Club 
calendar has been crowded with extra-curricular 
activities. Typical of the gang’s war contribu¬ 
tions, are the events pictured on these pages. 

The entire cast appeared before hospitalized 
bluejackets at the Great Lakes Training Station 
on several occasions. Our cameraman brought 
back two mementos of one visit—Marion auto¬ 
graphing a leg cast, and Lt. Eddie Peabody wel¬ 
coming Don to the station. The other picture on 
this page was taken at Fort Benjamin Harrison, 
near Indianapolis. 

When Don was invited to M.C. the President’s 
Birthday Ball at Jacksonville, we decided to spend 
a few extra days soaking up Florida sunshine. It 
was only the second real vacation Don has taken 
in 11 years of broadcasting. 

The trip was full of thrills, including the mid¬ 
night visit of two mice to our compartment, and 
Don’s early morning unscheduled personal appear¬ 
ance in the train berth, before a station platform 
full of people. He says he will never forgive me, 
but can I help it if I can sleep only when all the 
shades are raised. 

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d/<es ///. /r ^n,„ 

Mayor Kelly of Chicago as¬ 
sisted Don in rewarding the little 
lady and the young gentleman shown 
in the photograph above for col¬ 
lecting more salvage than any other 
children of the Chicago area. Don 
and the Breakfast Club can be cred¬ 
ited with originating the National 
Paper Salvage Drive for Children. 

Every organization these days has its Honor 
Roll, and the Breakfast Club is no exception. 
Harry Kogen . . . Order a roll on the drums while 
we salute our heroes. 

Durwood Kirby.... Announcer .Navy 

Bob Brown. Announcer .Navy 

Bob McKee. Announcer .Army 

Louie Perkins. Romeos .Army 

Art Ilansen. Saxophone .Army 

Ralph Martire. Trumpet . Navy 

Don Tiefenthal. Arranger .Army 

Bruce Chase. Violin and Arranger Navy 

Jack Cordaro. Saxophone .Navy 

Jack Shirra. Bass . Navy 

Bob Morton. Saxophone .Army 

Jim Filas. Saxophone .Army 

Bo Kreer. Writer .Marines 

Several others have returned after being honorably 

Serious and critical though the 
subject may be, Don couldn’t belp 
but kid tbe wastepaper campaign 
by contributing his bit. He said it 
was the script he had used that 
morning in complimenting Baker 
on an extra good performance. 

• • • 

Favorite Breakfast Club Stunts 

After reviewing the zany happenings— 
planned and ad libbed—which have taken place 
on the Breakfast Club for several years, it be¬ 
comes very difficult to single out any one cham¬ 

pion. However, with the help of my faithful as¬ 
sistants, who were asked to select their favorite 
stunts, I’m able to present on this and succeeding 
pages the ones most frequently mentioned. 

One man band contest brought together 
Archie Sweet, who earns his living as the studio 
janitor, and other odd jobs (Don says he is "vice- 
president in charge of male hygiene”) and Pan¬ 
handle Pete of Grand Island, Neb., who has made 
his living as a one man band since he was seven. 
Paul Whiteman supplied the program notes. 
While Panhandle scored with his terrific rendition 
of "Wabash Cannonball,” Archie was unanimous¬ 
ly awarded the title of "world’s WORST one-man 

The payoff came when Archie paid the loser’s 
price—an ounce of hair. Sam Cowling bragged 
for days after how he clipped him. 

Television is eagerly 
awaited by most Break¬ 
fast Clubbers, for a com¬ 
mon complaint we hear 
is "why doesn’t Don tell 
us what sends the audi¬ 
ence into hysterics so 
frequently.” Don tries 
to tell all, but how can 
you explain what lies at 
the foot of this page— 
Sam Cowling. 

The other picture is 
only the beginning. 

SAM...the falling man! 

High on the list of favorite impromptu stunts was the 
incident of the lady who answered Don’s question of 
"And how are you this morning?’’ with "I’d he fine if it 
wasn’t for the burning feet 1 picked up shopping on 
State Street yesterday.’’ As the sketch indicates, she 
enjoyed tlie remainder of the Breakfast Club with her 
"hot dogs” at case in a pailful of cool Lake Michigan 

Anything to make the kiddies happy was Don’s 
reason for installing a play-pen for tiny children in the 
audience. Sam Cowling lost no time in trying it out 
with pretty "babes”—Marilyn Sable of "Kiss and 
Tell” and Peggy Dake of "Good Night, Ladies.” 

“The mess of messes” which Mrs. Grier said she 
would liked to have seen was the "egg-shampoo for the 
lady’s tresses”—reproduced here from memory "to see 
if she could take a yolk.” Let this be a reminder that 
complaints regarding the amount of dirt in Chicago’s air 
are promptly handled on the Breakfast Club. 

Another famous ad lib stunt was 
the manner in which a sleepy soldier 
boy, who sat up on a train all night so 
he could hear the Breakfast Club, ac¬ 
cepted Don’s invitation to stretch out 
and make himself comfortable. Bill 
Krenz, our favorite pianist, obliged by 
playing sweet and low music. 

Jack Owens carries on a Breakfast 
Club tradition started by Jack Baker— 
jitterbugging with lovely ladies of the 
audience. Sam comments that Owens 
has an advantage over Baker in this 
department because he croons as he 

Now, in quick review we give you a last 
peek at your favorites with a bright new one 
thrown in for good measure. 

Don and Jack Baker pose for old time’s 
sake. After eight years of good-natured kid¬ 
ding it’s a wonder either of them can still 
take a joke. There aren’t many left to take, 
commented Jack as he shoved off. 

The Cruising Crooner and Miss Nancy 
Martin swing out with a song that is mighty 
heartenin’. They make a toothsome two¬ 
some, don’t they? 

Marion and Sam look their admiration as the 
Breakfast Club premiers its newest find—Mary Ann 
Owens singing with her dad. You’ll hear more from 
this little lady later, but soon! 

You asked for it, so here it is. What did the 
soldier say? While interviewing a soldier one day, or 
was it a sailor, Don asked the question: "What 
have those two young couples in common?” 

Previously, he had selected two cards (from among 
those always filled out by the audience before they 
enter the studio) which stated that two couples were 
visiting the Breakfast Club on their honeymoon. 
Without announcing this fact, Don asked the two 
couples to arise. 

Picking a sailor, or was it a soldier, from the audi¬ 
ence he asked the famous question. When he ob¬ 
served a funny, shy look creep over the sail - - dier’s 
face he pulled the portable microphone behind his 
back and the reply didn’t go out over the air. 

Here’s what he said: "Are they expecting?” 

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MdU Q)€€t/i: 

You’ve told it all . . . and you’ve told it well; 
From cover to cover I think it’s swell. 

You’ve proved you’re smart with a high I. Q. 
But I wasn’t so dumb when I picked you. 

You’ve shown our Breakfast Clubber friends, 
My "other life,” and so it ends. 

Some of it’s fiction, some of it fact, 

But nothing’s there that I’ll retract. 

What you’ve put up with all these years. 
Deserves a medal and three cheers. 

J guess you know just how I feel, 

So "be good to yourself,” signed. 


Scanned from the collection of 

Karl Thiede 

Coordinated by the 
Media History Digital Library 

Funded by a donation from 

Richard Scheckman